A job interview is used to gain more information about your skills and experience in relation to a job vacancy. It is also when a potential employer tries to match this to the vision they have of how their team should work within their organizational environment.
They can ask you behavioral questions to ascertain your past performance, they may ask you hypothetical problem solving questions, they may refer to case studies, they will assess your interest level in the job, your knowledge of the company and the your interest in the industry as a whole or your general professional attitude and norms.
To prepare yourself for interview questions you should:
- Study the job advert in details and think of every potential questions you might be asked then come up with answers that can best show your skills set and overall experience.
- Research everything you can about the company and think of what sort of questions you could then be asked on the topic once again linking your answers to your personal attributes.
- Study your application and prepare yourself to answer every sort of question about it.
The following are typical interview questions and advice on how you should handle them:
Q: How would you describe yourself?
A: This is an initial cue to sell yourself but remember to keep your answer short and to the point i.e. 200 hundred words or approximately a minute’s talking time.
Q: Why did you apply for this job?
A: Your response to this question will be carefully noted to see if your interests match what they have in mind for their organization and if it will allow your career goals in the short and long term to be met. It is very important here to display a genuine interest in the company and their philosophies.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
A: Obviously you should try to convince them that you see yourself advancing substantially within their organization and have a clear picture of why and how exactly. Be sure you don’t tell them you don’t know beyond this year or consequently that you think you can become CEO in the next twelve months. Keep it realistic and within the realms of what is normal progression.
Q: What do you think the future of the industry is?
A: This question will be asked to test your real knowledge and analysis of the industry in question. Think carefully before you answer taking all of your knowledge of the industry into account.
Q: Why should we give you the job?
A: This question is geared towards you telling them that you understand what the job entails and what will be required of the person who gets the job. This is a good opportunity to summarize all your skills and suitability for the job being sure to give specific examples of your past experiences in a relevant context.
Q: What were your favorite parts of your last job?
A: The most important element of your response will be your ability to take the key points required for the new job and to match these as much as possible with the elements that you most enjoyed from your previous job. This will show the interviewer that you have a very clear understanding of what the new role will entail.
Q: What are your weaknesses?
A: This is not a very usual question anymore but if asked it make sure you do not specify an area that the employer has indicated is crucial for the job in question or you can be assured of not getting the job. It is best to not clearly admit to any particular weakness but instead try to say you are keen to further develop your skills in an area that may be below average at present but that this is something that you intend to rectify through the correct training or experience.
Q: Describe a successful project you have been involved in and tell me what made it successful?
A: This is a behavioral question and basically the employer is looking to ascertain how you have performed in the past as this is a good indicator of how you will perform in the future. Your response needs to include what you did to help this project succeed in terms of personal input and through specific team cohesion skills.